At Phillips & Associates, we understand that the process of a personal injury lawsuit can seem complex and overwhelming. For many clients, the most stress-inducing aspect is having to undergo a deposition. While it may appear daunting at first, we find that understanding the purpose of a deposition, knowing what to expect, and being well-prepared can ease concerns for most individuals we represent. In this article, we provide a general overview of the deposition process and the steps we take to make sure our clients are fully comfortable and prepared.
A deposition is a key stage in the 'discovery' process of a lawsuit, occurring before the trial. It involves a sworn interview where you'll be questioned by the opposing attorney about the incident that led to your lawsuit and your resultant injuries. This exchange is recorded and often video-recorded, with the main aim of collecting information and establishing the facts of the case. Your responses during a deposition can significantly influence the direction and outcome of your lawsuit.
What to Anticipate
During the deposition, you'll be seated with your attorney from Phillips & Associates, the opposing attorney, and a court reporter. The questioning may cover a wide range of topics, including the incident, your past medical history, your injuries, and their impact on your life.
While a deposition isn't conducted in a formal courtroom, your statements carry equal legal weight. As such, you are obligated to tell the truth. Any misrepresentation or exaggeration could lead to penalties or even jeopardize your case.
How We Prepare Clients for their Depositions
At Phillips & Associates, we are dedicated to guiding and supporting you throughout this process. We'll work closely with you to review potential questions, emphasize the importance of honesty, and provide advice on staying composed even under tough questioning.
It's beneficial to review all documents, medical records, and incident reports pertaining to your case. Having a comprehensive understanding of the facts will enable you to answer the questions with confidence and precision.
Comportment During Depositions
One crucial piece of advice we offer is to listen carefully to the questions and answer only what is asked. Avoid volunteering unnecessary information as it could inadvertently damage your case. If you're unsure about a question, don't hesitate to ask for it to be rephrased or clarified.
We recommend maintaining a calm demeanor throughout the deposition. Despite any attempts by opposing counsel to provoke or confuse you, keep your composure and take your time to answer. Remember, you can always request a break if needed.
And remember: It's perfectly okay to say "I don't remember" if you're uncertain about specific details. In a deposition, accuracy trumps speculation.
At Phillips & Associates, we know that depositions are a crucial part of the personal injury lawsuit process. Though they may seem intimidating, we are here to guide you every step of the way. Your deposition offers an opportunity to share your story – make the most of it by being honest, composed, and well-prepared. Together, we can navigate this process successfully.